Arcola Theatre

Sustainability in Theater Conference attended by 90 people locally, and 30 people internationally, representing 9 states and 4 countries

The Sustainability in Theater conference was presented by the Minnesota Theater Alliance and the Twin Cities Sustainable Theatres Group at Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, April 30 and May 1, 2012. The event was Webcast live by QwikCast on April 30, and 11 breakout panels were live online for interactive participation through Google+ Hangouts on May 1. Locally, there were 90 attendees, including many individual artists, and representing 60 different organizations. Online, there were 30 attendees representing 20 different organizations, 9 U.S. states, and 4 countries.

Keynote presentations were made by Terry Gips, Sustainability Associates; Stephen Rueff, The Clean Campaign; and Mary T’Kach, Ramsey County. International case studies were presented by Ian Garrett, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and included presentations by Arcola Theatre (UK), Festivals Edinburgh (UK), Julie’s Bicycle (UK), York University (Toronto), Fisher Dachs Associates (WA), and Childsplay (AZ). A complete list of the conference sessions is available at  http://minnesotatheateralliance.org/sit/schedule.php and a list of conference presenters is available at http://minnesotatheateralliance.org/sit/presenters.php.

Follow-up activities to the conference include a summary to be presented Leah Cooper, John Bueche, and Ian Garrett at the national Theatre Communications Group annual conference in Boston, June 2012; an online discussion and document forum for knowledge sharing in the industry; and plans to present the conference again. Local initiatives being discussed in Minnesota in response to the conference include expanding the membership of the Twin Cities Sustainable Theatre Group; more frequent convenings to share knowledge and plan collaborative projects; consideration of a shared reusable sets and props inventory, either physically or virtually; and collective purchasing of green materials.

As reference materials from the conference are gathered and additional plans develop, more information will be available at http://minnesotatheateralliance.org/sit/about.php.

The conference was planned and presented by a volunteer task force made up of artists and administrators from Bedlam Theatre, Bemidji State University, Brave New Workshop, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, CostumeRentals, Guthrie Theater and Minnesota Theater Alliance.

What is it that art could do for the environment?

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Kellie Payne reports on the Green Alliance’s summer debate about the arts and the environment.

For their summer reception, the environmental think tank Green Alliance hosted an evening of opera and debate at the Royal Opera House. In conjunction with The Opera Group, the evening began with a fifteen minute excerpt of Luke Bedford‘s new opera Seven Angels, is inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost and has environmental degradation as its theme.

Following the opera taster, there was a panel discussion entitled ‘What have the arts ever done for the environment? The panel included a mix of representatives from the worlds of policy, the arts and academia. It was chaired by Julie’s Bicycle’s Alison Tickell, and panellists included: The Southbank Centre artistic director, Jude Kelly, RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, Arcola Theatre executive director Ben Todd, the sculptor Peter Randall-Page and David Frame, fellow of Oxford University. In her introduction, Tickell indicated that the Seven Angels was one among a crop of new work being made by British artists that addressed nature or the environment among those artists she listed were Antony Gormley, Ian McEwan, Jay Griffiths.

One of the main themes of the evening was an attempt in the discussion to answer the general question of what it is that art can do for the environment. It was generally agreed that one of the strengths of art was that it was well equipped to deal with the complexities that many environmental issues such as climate change raise. Matthew Taylor saying that art should be one of the many interventions required to tackle climate change.

One of the most eloquent responses came from the scholar, David Frame, who highlighted art’s ability to deal with complexity and tension. He felt that as climate change and environmental problems are so complex in nature, with for instance climate change knowledge dispersed amongst many specialists without a graspable whole. He said that the arts community has ‘a unique ability to convey complexity, delicacy, and beauty and among the things you can do is you don’t need to simplify…’

He pointed to the deficits in mediums such as Twitter or the 1,000 word Op Ed piece and contrasted this with the length of a novel or a film where he said ‘the possibilities for the ideas you can upload to people is phenomenal.’ This type of medium he said was also more able to cope with uncertainties. ‘You leave interpretation open which isn’t considered acceptable in other forms and I think that in doing so you can bring out tensions between these parallel values’.

Changing values seemed to be one of the key roles identified for art that emerged from the discussion. Alison said she has observed what she describes as a ‘palpable’ shift in values taking place rapidly and for her ‘the arts do have a role to play in reflecting and shaping and engaging with those values.’ While Matthew didn’t agree with Alison the extent to which values have already changed in the positive direction Alison described. In fact, he warned that during this current time of disturbance there is a clear dissatisfaction with current values but which way public opinion would turn was not decided. He said the dissatisfaction could lead in two ways, and not necessarily in a progressive direction he lamented that ‘it can go in a dangerous direction as well.’

The question of how politics should be addressed raised differing opinions. Jude Kelly began by announcing she ‘didn’t mind a bit of bad art’ provided that art had some sort of message. She went on to say, ‘I don’t think it’s a hanging offence to produce a message’ However if it’s not particularly interesting it might ‘bore me after awhile’. Further, ‘I don’t mind artists having a go. I really dislike the idea that artists shouldn’t be allowed to take centre stage to comment on things.

While Peter conceded that there was ‘nothing wrong with political art’, for him it was less the politics which art was best equipped to address. He was more of the mind that art’s quality was that it didn’t have a direct ‘purpose’ that it was its intrinsic values alone that made art great. He believes that ‘arts are not well placed to (do) issue based lobbying’ contrasting what he finds often to be the pragmatism of the environmental movement with the arts ability to nourish imagination and the spirit in the way the natural world does. ‘I think the role that I feel for the arts in environmentalism is that it… reminds us that we’re not all bad. If we only feel negative it’s impossible for us to move forward and remove this exclusively pragmatic approach to looking after the world.’

Matthew wanted to introduce a third way of thinking about the issue agreeing that art shouldn’t attempt to kick us around the head. However, he felt art could ‘challenge people to live differently and value things in slightly different ways.’ Providing a vision of how ‘a different, deeper kind of understanding about what makes life worth living and what it is society wants to be.’ This task he felt art was ‘incredibly well suited’. That is, ‘art is there to explicitly to get you to think about what the good life is.’ He concluded this thought saying ‘art shouldn’t be ashamed to say that art is here to help you rethink what our values are and I don’t think that requires you to revert to a kind of crude placard waving.’

In addition to the discussion about art and politics, the panel also touched on the controversial issue of artists lifestyles and the high carbon footprint of the arts. The general attitude on the panel was that this shouldn’t be paid as much attention as it has been. Jude Kelly saying that this arts requires face-to-face interactions and not allowing artists to fly amounts to a cultural boycott. But Matthew Taylor thought artists should be accountable, and if they want to have influence on others they have to take account of their own actions.
Increased collaboration amongst artists was encouraged, suggesting that the problem of the environment is one that artists should attempt to do together. Arts organisations such as Cape Farewell and Tipping Point were highlighted as doing exceptional work, helping to inform artists of climate change and bringing the topic to their consciousness.

It was edifying to see an organisation such as the Green Alliance, who normally deals with more policy related issues such as building a sustainable economy, investigating climate and energy futures, designing out waste and political leadership to host a conversation with the arts community. A cursory glance over badges of audience members saw representatives from business and policy, including the Department for Energy and Climate Change and The Environment Agency, so the wider these issues can be encountered and discussed the better. It’s time the arts community made it’s voice heard in the conversation about climate change. Peter concluded well, stating that it is artists who need to create metaphors and narratives which make it possible to go into the future.

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Arcola Theatre’s Carbon Footprint, April 2011

We are working with Julies Bicycle to monitor our carbon emissions using their Industry Green Tool, which involves entering figures for our consumption of electricity, water, and consumables as well as figures on staff and audience travel in to their website on a monthly basis. April was the first month in out new building on Ashwin Street where we have had enough data to start using their monitoring tool again. Arcola Theatre’s carbon footprint for April 2011 was equal to 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide, that’s 0.38 kg CO2e per seat, per show. The average person in the UK will emit 10 tonnes of CO2e per year, if Arcola Theatre continues with these emissions throughout the year our annual carbon footprint would be 36 tonnes of CO2e.

We don’t think that’s good enough, over the month of May we will be working to reduce our carbon emissions further. We will start by ensuring that we are not heating the building unnecessarily over the warmer weather and ensuring all electrical outlets are switched off when the building is closed. The Industry Green tool assumes an average travel emission for each audience member per show, unless we enter data regarding audience travel. The estimated average travel emissions are the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint at present and we’d like to be able to provide the site with more accurate data on audience travel therefore we are conducting an Audience Travel Survey this month. If you would like to help us with this then please click on the link at the end of this article.

Travel Survey

Go to Arcola Energy

sustainability in theatre


Click to Play
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, a Los Angeles-based non-profit arts infrastructure organisation, presents an overview of current trends and practices in sustainability for theatre from around the world. We will be looking at UK initiatives from Julie’s Bicycle, the Arcola Theatre and White Light LTD, as well as those of the Broadway Green Alliance, York University in Toronto, Mo’olelo Performing Arts in San Diego and other theaters, arts organisations and artists from around the globe. Join us to learn about the growing momentum towards ecologically-minded arts making! www.sustainablepractice.org/fringe

Sustainability in Theatre | Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, a Los Angeles-based non-profit arts infrastructure organisation, presents an overview of current trends and practices in sustainability for theatre from around the world. We will be looking at UK initiatives from Julie’s Bicycle, the Arcola Theatre and White Light LTD, as well as those of the Broadway Green Alliance, York University in Toronto, Mo’olelo Performing Arts in San Diego and other theaters, arts organisations and artists from around the globe. Join us to learn about the growing momentum towards ecologically-minded arts making! www.sustainablepractice.org/fringe

via Sustainability in Theatre | Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010.

HyLight Fuel Cell Launched

Reprinted from Arcola Energy: “Arcola Theatre launches HyLight…” July 12, 2010

London’s Arcola Theatre launches its first in-house designed and manufactured fuel cell product HyLight and announces the creation of a new trading company Arcola Energy Ltd to develop the commercial aspects of its international award winning arts & sustainability programme.

Developed with regular Arcola partners BOC (global industrial gas supplier), and White Light (leading supplier of lighting equipment and services to the entertainment industry), HyLight is a unique portable lighting and power supply to provide illumination in locations away from the electrical grid, silently and without the emissions of traditional noisy, polluting diesel generators.

HyLight is packaged in a compact wheeled flight-case, rugged for transportation and easy to deploy. The system includes the new Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator from BOC, two of BOC’s new lightweight compressed hydrogen cylinders, and a choice of low energy LED lighting systems suitable for architectural, live event or safety applications.

To ensure reliable operation and provide added flexibility, HyLight’s power control system allows seamless switching between mains power, fuel cell power and battery back-up (1 hour). An LCD display provides real-time operating information and user prompts, whilst a data-logger records second-by-second performance. Online tools allow users to analyse their usage profile and determine the carbon footprint of their activities.

With a rated power output of 150W (200W peak), HyLight will provide many hours of safe, low-voltage power between refills. Run time with a 100W load is 30 hours per hydrogen cylinder. Furthermore, as run-time is directly proportional to load (in marked contrast to diesel generators), in lower power applications such as cordless tool charging, run times of several days are possible from a single hydrogen cylinder. A built-in 240V outlet can supply ancilliary equipment.

“HyLight is the result of several years of hugely productive collaboration Arcola has enjoyed with BOC and White Light,” comments Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director at Arcola Theatre, “and of a recent research and development project we undertook with the support of the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Their support allowed us to innovate rapidly together, taking lessons we have learnt with running low-energy lighting from the 5kW fuel cell we have at Arcola Theatre and combining that experience with the latest hydrogen and fuel cell technology from BOC to create a small, portable package that offers lower total cost of ownership than diesel generators – and many other practical benefits as well.”

“We don’t expect our customers to necessarily care about the history or technology of the hydrogen fuel cell,” comments Bryan Raven, White Light’s Managing Director. “What we do expect is that they will care greatly that they can have a lighting system that is clean, silent and portable, perfect for lighting events in gardens, parks or remote locations”.

Leyla Nazli, Executive Producer at Arcola Theatre said “Having engineers developing clean energy technologies right here in Arcola Theatre is part of our future vision. Artists imagining sustainable futures must witness first hand the possibilities for change, so to work side-by-side with engineers is invaluable”.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Platforms at the Technology Strategy Board said “this is a great story of a company taking ownership of its carbon emissions and applying its expertise to tackle the problem“.

ShareThis

Go to the Green Theater Initiative

Arcola Theatre launches hydrogen fuel cell powered lighting at Latitude Festival

THEATRE ARENA

Building on its success of the past 2 years, Arcola Theatre are once again providing low energy lighting and fuel cell power to the theatre stage; and this year we are providing sound as well.

In 2008 when the theatre tent was much smaller, we powered the whole lighting rig with a 5kW fuel cell, using low energy lighting fixtures including LED and low power tungsten lamps. In 2009 the tent grew to its present size, but, with a smaller stage and audience on fewer sides, we were just about able to power the rig on 5kW, with a little extra generator power for particularly bright scenes.

This year, with large stage, audiences on all sides and greatly increased technical expectations, lighting demands are significantly higher than in previous years. Luckily, great improvements in LED technology in the past 12 months mean that they can still play a role. We have thus switched our approach – instead of doing the best we can with 5kW, we are experimenting with the latest LED fixtures. With greatly improved light output and colour rendering there are LED fixtures emerging which can replace tungsten lamps even in mid-scale theatres. This lighting rig gives designers an opportunity to trial these technologies.

Theatre Stage

There has been much less popular attention given to low energy approaches to sound and thus we were keen this year to see what is possible. To ensure that there was no compromise in quality, we have enlisted the support of Steve Mayo, head of sound at the Barbican and a new industry partner Dobson Sound.

In these first trials our focus is on cutting energy consumption by two means – first by getting the right amount of sound in the right place, hence the skilled system designer, and second by improving system efficiency by using amplifiers employing pulse-width-modulation (D class) which use nearly 50% less power than a comparable solid state amplifier. We hope it goes well…

AROUND THE LATITUDE SITE

This year Arcola Theatre has launched a new strand of work developing low energy technologies for the live arts industry. Thus we have installed 7 of our new HyLight150 fuel cell powered lighting systems across the Latitude Festival site; providing lighting for everything from marquees, to forest performances to production areas, as well as powering laptops, phone chargers and ticket machines.

HyLight 150

HyLight is the first fuel cell product to be developed specifically for the events industry and offers the high reliability demanded through an onboard ‘brain’ which monitors performance and seamlessly switches to battery back-up in
case of fault or user error.

Running on hydrogen, with a run time of over 50 hours between refills, the system produces zero emissions and is almost silent. Carbon emission reductions of up to 60% are likely in performance settings through use of the latest LED lighting. The system is also perfect for safety and security lighting where emission reductions of up to 90% are possible by displacing the ubiquitous 500W garage floodlight with 15W LED alternatives.

Arcola developed HyLight with a consortium including regular partners – hydrogen gas producer BOC and leading events industry supplier White Light who also support our work with the Theatre Arena. A new partner is Horizon Fuel Cell, manufacturer of the fuel cell at the heart of HyLight. A family of larger HyLight products is now planned, built around Horizon’s extensive range of low cost, light weight fuel cell systems.

MORE INFO

Press Release – Fuel Cells Across Latitude Festival

Latitude Photo Gallery

Latitude Leaflet

Hylight @ Arcola Energy Store

Go to Arcola Energy

Arcola Theatre launches HyLight, its first fuel cell product, and creates new fuel cell retail business Arcola Energy Ltd

London’s Arcola Theatre launches its first in-house designed and manufactured fuel cell product HyLight and announces the creation of a new trading company Arcola Energy Ltd to develop the commercial aspects of its international award winning arts & sustainability programme.

Developed with regular Arcola partners BOC (global industrial gas supplier), and White Light (leading supplier of lighting equipment and services to the entertainment industry), HyLight is a unique portable lighting and power supply to provide illumination in locations away from the electrical grid, silently and without the emissions of traditional noisy, polluting diesel generators.

HyLight is packaged in a compact wheeled flight-case, rugged for transportation and easy to deploy. The system includes the new Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator from BOC, two of BOC’s new lightweight compressed hydrogen cylinders, and a choice of low energy LED lighting systems suitable for architectural, live event or safety applications.

To ensure reliable operation and provide added flexibility, HyLight’s power control system allows seamless switching between mains power, fuel cell power and battery back-up (1 hour). An LCD display provides real-time operating information and user prompts, whilst a data-logger records second-by-second performance. Online tools allow users to analyse their usage profile and determine the carbon footprint of their activities.

With a rated power output of 150W (200W peak), HyLight will provide many hours of safe, low-voltage power between refills. Run time with a 100W load is 30 hours per hydrogen cylinder. Furthermore, as run-time is directly proportional to load (in marked contrast to diesel generators), in lower power applications such as cordless tool charging, run times of several days are possible from a single hydrogen cylinder. A built-in 240V outlet can supply ancilliary equipment.

HyLight is the result of several years of hugely productive collaboration Arcola has enjoyed with BOC and White Light,” comments Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director at Arcola Theatre, “and of a recent research and development project we undertook with the support of the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Their support allowed us to innovate rapidly together, taking lessons we have learnt with running low-energy lighting from the 5kW fuel cell we have at Arcola Theatre and combining that experience with the latest hydrogen and fuel cell technology from BOC to create a small, portable package that offers lower total cost of ownership than diesel generators – and many other practical benefits as well.

We don’t expect our customers to necessarily care about the history or technology of the hydrogen fuel cell,” comments Bryan Raven, White Light’s Managing Director. “What we do expect is that they will care greatly that they can have a lighting system that is clean, silent and portable, perfect for lighting events in gardens, parks or remote locations”.

Leyla Nazli, Executive Producer at Arcola Theatre saidHaving engineers developing clean energy technologies right here in Arcola Theatre is part of our future vision. Artists imagining sustainable futures must witness first hand the possibilities for change, so to work side-by-side with engineers is invaluable”.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Platforms at the Technology Strategy Board said “this is a great story of a company taking ownership of its carbon emissions and applying its expertise to tackle the problem“.

ENDS

More details and hi-resolution images: www.arcolaenergy.com/hylight

Contact: Ben Todd at Arcola Theatre on 020 7503 1645 or ben@arcolatheatre.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Fuel Cells were invented by William Grove in 1839 and have enjoyed a variety of uses since, including as part of the Apollo space programme. Hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells are currently being investigated by many industries, with Honda already offering an experimental hydrogen fuel cell electric car in the USA and suppliers such as BOC working to provide hydrogen from renewable resources.

Arcola Theatre was founded in 2000 by its present Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen and Executive Producer Leyla Nazli. From humble origins Arcola has grown to become an important London and UK venue serving both as receiving house and producer of its own critically acclaimed work. Arcola has strong links with the local community, delivering an extensive programme of participatory arts for all ages. Since the launch in 2007 of Arcola Energy, the theatre has been working with local and international partners across arts, sciences and engineering to drive mass adoption of sustainable lifestyles. Arcola Theatre is a Regularly Funded Organisation of Arts Council England. www.arcolatheatre.com

Arcola Energy is a multi-disciplinary agent for sustainable innovation. It operates in two modes: 1) commercially, developing and retailing cutting-edge low carbon products especially fuel cells; and 2) as an award-winning not-for-profit project of Arcola Theatre, driving sustainability in the arts. www.arcolaenergy.com

BOC is a member of The Linde Group. An industrial and speciality gases provider, the company supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment. www.boc-gases.com

White Light is a leading supplier of lighting to the entertainment industry including hire, sales, installation and service. www.whitelight.ltd.uk

The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), established by the Government in 2007 and sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It is dedicated to promoting technology-enabled innovation across the UK. www.innovateuk.org

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was created in October 2008, to bring together energy policy and climate change mitigation policy. www.decc.gov.uk

Go to Arcola Energy

Julie’s Bicycle Helps UK Theatres Cut Carbon

Reprinted from The Guardian: “Green Dreams: How Can Theatre Cut Its Carbon Emissions?” by Chris Wilkinson, June 29, 2010

As the financial climate gets ever chillier, much has been said about the need for theatre companies to band together if they are to survive the coming cuts. So it is good to see that a new spirit of cooperation is now developing across the industry – albeit in response to an entirely different climate. The curiously named Julie’s Bicycle – an organisation that exists to help the creative industries lower their greenhouse gas emissions – has recently announced the launch of a “UK-wide theatre programme” aimed at helping theatres play their part in the fight against climate change.

Of course, for some theatres, an interest in the environment is nothing new. There have been individual efforts going on for a number of years now. Some companies are building theatres that are literally recycled, the National Theatre has been working with Philips to reduce its energy consumption and east London’s Arcola theatre has made itself the industry leader with its hugely impressive Arcola Energy project.

Yet what is particularly exciting about this new initiative is that it seeks to foster a much greater level of cooperation across the industry as a whole. The aim of Julie’s Bicycle is to bring together producers from both the commercial and subsidised sectors, and they have already attracted some of the biggest names on both sides of the theatrical divide. A steering committee for the project has been set up, chaired by Nick Starr, the executive director of the National Theatre, which boasts representatives from organisations as diverse as Cameron Mackintosh Productions, Glyndebourne, the National Theatres of Scotland and Wales, the RSC and many others.

Sian Alexander, Julie’s Bicycle’s associate director for theatre, says this shows that there is a “huge appetite” in the industry for tackling this issue. The plan is that companies will share information and ideas so that eventually Julie’s Bicycle will be “able to produce an annual report for theatre on GHG emissions and progress towards targets based on the data collected by the industry”. Given how secretive theatres can be about their plans and operations, it is good to see that differences are being overlooked in the face of this major challenge.

In fact, as the Stage recently explained, Julie’s Bicycle has already launched one major report about the impact that touring theatre has on the environment. They calculated that in 2009 British touring companies produced approximately 13,400 tonnes of greenhouse gases: equivalent to flying round the world 2,680 times. In one sense this is good news – Alexander points out that this figure is not as high as they had initially feared it might be – but she adds that there are also many areas where things could be improved.

As well as working directly with theatres, the organisation has provided a number of resources on its websites to enable companies to measure their impact themselves. These include a free carbon calculator, which theatres can use to work out what their carbon footprint is, and a range of other advice on how to become more energy-efficient.

Recent years have seen a range of shows – from Filter’s Water to the Bush’s Contingency Plan – that have sought to tackle climate change from an artistic point of view. So it’s good to see theatres attempting to be green not just in word, but in action too.

ShareThis

Go to the Green Theater Initiative

Arcola’s Top Ten Tips to produce a Sustainable Theatre Production

The Mayor’s Green Theatre Plan outlines how London theatres can and should reduce their CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025.

Arcola Theatre work with production companies to help them reduce their environmental impact without compromising artistic vision and here are our Top Ten Tips to producing a low impact theatre production.

There are three main areas where you can reduce your production’s environmental footprint: physical production, company activity and audience behaviour.

Physical

1. Re-use – decisions you make at the start of production will have a big impact on waste at the end. Can the materials be re-used, or at least recycled? – Careful handling and fitting of the set contributes its ease of re-use.www.scenerysalvage.com will collect your set & they also sell salvaged items – worth a look if you need cheap doors, furniture, casters, electrical equipment etc. Aim to avoid landfill as nothing is ever really ‘thrown away’.

2. Purchasing – key are timber and paint (see below) but the Mayors Green Procurement Code has useful resources for ensuring minimal environmental impact if buying new items: www.greenprocurementcode.co.uk

3. Timber – try to source timber that is recycled or, if new, FSC certified. Try Leaside Wood Recycling Project for cheap recycled timber – www.lwrp.org.uk

4. Paint – avoid harmful airborne chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in ordinary paint, a big contributor to climate change, and many of the chemicals are also highly toxic and linked with health problems such as respiratory disease, asthma, dizziness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin disorders, eye irritation, liver and kidney damage and cancer: www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/NonToxicPaint.html

5. Lighting – consider employing innovative low energy lighting technologies / setting an energy cap as per Arcola production of Living Unknown Soldier (2008). Visit Arcola Energy site for a wealth of information including kit lists: www.arcolaenergy.com/contribute/category/green-theatre/low-energy-lighting/

Switch the rig on as near to the performance as possible and promptly turn it off at the end of a performance. Also see White Light’s Green Guide to Lighting – www.whitelight.ltd.uk/greenguide

6. Recycling – Try to find a reuse for materials wherever possible, or implement recycling schemes for sets and props, batteries, lamps and costumes. Use www.freecycle.org to donate costumes, props etc. (also see point 1)

Company

7. Travel – encourage company members to cycle or use public transport. Plan meetings/rehearsals to minimize travel requirements where possible.

8. Electricity use – turn off lights when not in use / when vacating rehearsal space.

9. Waste – use the theatre recycling and composting facilities. Where appropriate report waste to a member of the Arcola Sustainability team who will support in its sustainable disposal.

Audience

10. Audience travel – publicise your sustainability efforts and encourage green travel methods on marketing materials. Market to, and engage, local audiences.

What do you think about our Top Ten Tips? Would you add or change anything? Let us know!

Add your comments…

Go to Arcola Energy